Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Archive for April 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan    Second grade: Letter Writing

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Printed note cards

Cost per student: $.20 (brayers can be used forever, though)

Materials: Brayers, foam trays, ballpoint pens, pencils, scratch paper, paper or cardstock to print onto, plastic lids or trays, acrylic paint or printing ink (like Speedball), newspapers, clean wet cloths.

Students will design an image and make multiple prints using traditional block printing techniques.

Elements of art: Line, texture, value

Vocabulary: printing, brayer

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Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         First Grade: Families

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Hand Print Mural

Cost per student: $.10 (not including the use of an iron)

Materials: Iron, fabric (I found a giant appliquéd globe on a sheet in the trash), fabric crayons, paper, markers, newspaper or towel to iron on top of.

Students will create an individual design to contribute to the whole group mural

Elements of art: shape, space

Vocabulary: mural, family, humankind

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Last trimester… oh my gosh, this year has flown by! Though I can honestly say it is so much fun. I have never woken up and grumbled about having to go in to school this year.

In March, I contributed 103 volunteer hours during the school day, and am up to 841 hours for the year.

My goals for the rest of the year are to maintain what I’ve built so far; publish some assessment results at the end of the year, and host an Art Night showcasing the amazing stuff the kids have made this year, while giving the families a chance to make art together in the evening on May 12th.


Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         Kindergarten: Plants

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

Corn Packing Peanut Sculptures

Cost per student: Potentially nothing, if you can find someone getting rid of a bag. I picked up my 5 foot tall bag next to a dumpster.

Materials: Corn packing peanuts, small bowls for water, water. If working indoors, something for the kids to build on (I used lids from Rubbermaid tubs), some Styrofoam peanuts to show the kids (I just packed a Ziploc bag with them so they didn’t make a mess)

Students will create sculptures using a plant-derived material

Elements of art: form

Vocabulary: biodegradable

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This project is appealing to all ages and demographics! The 4th and 5th graders made stick journals since much of what modern people know about Colonial History is from what people of that era wrote down, either formally, in diaries or journals, or in letters to others. The 2nd graders made journals since we were studying letter writing, and writing in a journal can be like writing a letter to yourself.

They are super simple to make and really use up a lot of actual stuff destined for the trash/recycle bin.  You need:

Rubber bands

something to serve as the stick (soda straw, chopstick, dead pen with the ink cartridge removed, handle of a toothbrush, paintbrush that’s yucky since someone forgot to wash it out, a stick from the yard, etc.)

waste paper cut to 8.5″x5.5″ for the front and back covers (old calendar pages, folders, cardboard inserts, posters from events long passed, and so on)

hole punches (I like the 2 hole punches used for legal files – SCRAP gets in tons of that particular size when filing systems go digital)

filler paper (paper from the recycle bin that’s been used on 1 side)

Fold the filler paper in half horizontally so it’s the size of covers. Stack 5 sheets, printed sides on the inside. Layer with a front and back cover. Hole punch on the side opposite the folds (this is the hardest part to get people to follow directions – if you do it this way, it hides the printed side of the paper forever), poke looped ends of the rubber band through the holes, and use the stick to hold the rubber band loops. Done.

I sometimes collate and stack pre-printed paper headed for the recycle bin and run it back through the copier so it has lines on it instead of being blank, or graph paper squares – or you might just want it blank for an art journal.

Sarah Morgan at SCRAP showed me how to do this and it’s such a cool, universally interesting project! Add more pages or take some out as needed. You can modify this project in many ways to change it up – kids think of all kinds of cool things to personalize it.


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